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John Crane’s polymer melt filtration selected for new NatureWorks plant

John Crane will provide a polymer melt filtration system for NatureWorks’ new biopolymer manufacturing facility in Thailand.

The NatureWorks filter system.
The NatureWorks filter system.

The new facility will increase NatureWorks’ production capacity of lactic acid, lactides and advanced Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers, which produce less greenhouse gas and use less non-renewable energy in manufacturing than traditional petroleum-based plastics.

The John Crane polymer melt filtration system will remove contaminants, ensure continuous operation of the PLA production process and comply with the required NatureWorks quality standard.

“We are proud to team up with NatureWorks in this exciting project and are looking forward to our optimised system installation for a biopolymer facility,” said Dr Thomas Grimm-Bosbach, John Crane Product Line Director, Filtration. “This project underscores John Crane’s commitment to environmental sustainability by supporting the process industry in creating sustainable products, reducing the consumption of natural resources and the release of greenhouse gases.”

The filtration system was designed using John Crane’s computational fluid dynamic (CFD) technology for filtration of non-Newtonian fluids, which provides the optimal polymer filtration process for each application. All filter elements provided are cleanable and reusable.

“By leveraging John Crane's expertise in filtration for the polymer plant design, we will ensure the Ingeo PLA biopolymer produced in the new Thailand manufacturing facility will meet the high-quality standard our customers have come to expect from our first manufacturing site in Blair, Nebraska, USA,” said Steve Bray, NatureWorks vice president of Operations and Project Program Manager.